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Origins:The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips)

DigiTrad:
ALL THE TIMES YOU'RE GONE
ALL USED UP
CANNONBALL BLUES
DADDY, WHAT'S A TRAIN?
DUMP THE BOSSES OFF YOUR BACK (2)
GREEN ROLLING HILLS
HOOD RIVER ROLL ON
I BELIEVE IF I LIVED MY LIFE AGAIN
I REMEMBER LOVING YOU
I SAW MY COUNTRY'S FLAG GO DOWN
KID'S LIBERATION SONG
OLD DOLORES
ORPHAN TRAIN
PHOEBE SNOW
QUEEN OF THE RAILS
ROCK SALT AND NAILS
ROCKABYE BABY
STARLIGHT ON THE RAILS
THE DADDY SONG
THE EPILOGUE
THE GOODNIGHT-LOVING TRAIL
THE TELLING TAKES ME HOME
TOLONO
TOUCH ME
WEEPY


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GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 24 Mar 02 - 11:39 PM
Jon Bartlett 24 Mar 02 - 11:45 PM
katlaughing 24 Mar 02 - 11:53 PM
Mark Clark 25 Mar 02 - 12:32 AM
Mark Cohen 25 Mar 02 - 01:22 AM
Lonesome EJ 25 Mar 02 - 03:03 AM
Cappuccino 25 Mar 02 - 03:22 AM
Steve Parkes 25 Mar 02 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 25 Mar 02 - 04:11 AM
katlaughing 25 Mar 02 - 04:17 AM
artbrooks 25 Mar 02 - 08:23 AM
Bill D 25 Mar 02 - 05:27 PM
Charley Noble 25 Mar 02 - 05:42 PM
Art Thieme 25 Mar 02 - 05:48 PM
Joe Offer 25 Mar 02 - 07:47 PM
Sorcha 25 Mar 02 - 08:08 PM
Mark Ross 25 Mar 02 - 09:22 PM
katlaughing 25 Mar 02 - 11:24 PM
Lonesome EJ 25 Mar 02 - 11:51 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 26 Mar 02 - 01:47 AM
Art Thieme 26 Mar 02 - 04:32 AM
Mark Ross 26 Mar 02 - 12:10 PM
Coyote Breath 26 Mar 02 - 05:53 PM
Mark Ross 26 Mar 02 - 06:11 PM
Art Thieme 26 Mar 02 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,John Kidder 17 May 07 - 07:41 AM
Amos 17 May 07 - 09:22 AM
kendall 17 May 07 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,Gerry 17 May 07 - 09:59 PM
katlaughing 18 May 07 - 12:55 AM
GUEST,gerry 20 May 07 - 09:49 PM
Joe Offer 27 Aug 07 - 01:16 AM
Jeremiah McCaw 27 Aug 07 - 02:09 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Aug 07 - 01:00 PM
Mr Happy 06 Aug 13 - 10:19 AM
Mark Ross 06 Aug 13 - 12:10 PM
Joe Offer 06 Aug 13 - 12:18 PM
Greg F. 06 Aug 13 - 12:35 PM
open mike 06 Aug 13 - 04:39 PM
Mark Clark 06 Aug 13 - 06:17 PM
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Subject: The midnight loving trail
From: GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 11:39 PM

A friend of mine here in Blackheath sings an American Cowboy song called "The Midnight Loving Trail." He picked it up in a bar and knows pretty much nothing about its history.

I would like to know if there is such a trail, if Midnight and Loving were two explorers, and any other facts surrounding the song.

Thanks,

Murray


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 11:45 PM

The song was made by Bruce (U.Utah) Phillips and has a s sound historical base, which I'll leave for others to explicate.


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Subject: RE: The Goodnight Loving Trail
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 11:53 PM

HeyaMurray,

In checking U. Utah Phillips' site, I found this page on the Goodnight Loving Trail. It's a great story, might be the one you are talking about? Goodnight Loving trail lyrics, tune, and story.

kat


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Mark Clark
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 12:32 AM

The Goodnight-Loving Trail is also in the DT. I don't know whether Bruce ever got tired of singing this great song but I never got tired of hearing him sing it.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 01:22 AM

As a historical tidbit, despite the romantic sound of the name, this was a real cattle trail named for the two men who pioneered it, Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight. Check out the fascinating story of the Goodnight-Loving Trail.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 03:03 AM

Great link, Doc. I had heard that Lonesome Dove was basically a re-telling of the Goodnight-Loving story, but reading the history really bore it out. I've been to Ft Sumner New Mexico, and was aware of its connections with Billy the Kid nad the imprisonment of Navajo at Bosque Redondo, but was unaware of the Goodnight-Loving connection.


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Cappuccino
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 03:22 AM

Great link, thanks!

- Ian B


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 03:51 AM

Also the ttle of a very entertaining novel by Leslie Thomas; the name comes from the real G<, but it's more of a modern Odyssey.

Steve


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 04:11 AM

My mate Mike Wild was in Canada the other year visiting his son and he was near one end of either the Goodnight or the Loving Trail. It's a great song.


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 04:17 AM

Great stuff! Think we've got the one Murray was looking for? I'll add this to the song origins permathread.

Thanks!

kat


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: artbrooks
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 08:23 AM

Jenn and I went down to Carlsbad last week, and drove along the trace of the Goodnight-Loving Trail for a while. I can certainly feel the wind referred to in the song whipping up. We also visited Ft. Sumner briefly: the state of New Mexico owns it now, and much of it is used for a reformatory.


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 05:27 PM

in the late 70s-early 80s, that was the one song you could start in a song circle around here..(Wash DC area) and have everyone sing along. The Bruce Phillips album was the hottest thing in folk circles locally. (I suspect Bruce would be pleased to see the song creeping quietly towards 'trad'...*smile8)


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 05:42 PM

Good choice of song, Murray. Hope you're pleased with the notes. I've nothing to add but have a great time at your next session at the Hotel Ivanhoe.


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Art Thieme
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 05:48 PM

In another thread on another topic I mentioned the further connection Goodnight and Loving had to LONESOME DOVE. In reality, Charlie Goodnight took Oliver Loving's body back to Texas for burial just as Capt. Woodrow Call took Gus McRae's body back to Texas in the great novel. I used to have an actual photograph of Goodnight's wagon inching it's way over the treeless plains with the coffin in the back.

Art Thieme


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Subject: Origins: The Goodnight Loving Trail
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 07:47 PM

Take a look at The Goodnight-Loving Trail Home Page. I also found an interesting piece in the Handbook of Texas:

GOODNIGHT-LOVING TRAIL. The Goodnight-Loving Trail ran from Young County, Texas, southwest to Horsehead Crossingqv on the Pecos River, up the Pecos to Fort Sumner, New Mexico, and on north to Colorado. In the spring and early summer of 1866 Charles Goodnight and Oliver Lovingqqv drove their first herd of longhorn cattleqv over the Butterfield Overland Mailqv route from near Fort Belknap via the Middle Concho River and Castle Gap,qv to Horsehead (on some old maps marked Dead Horse) Crossing. Leaving the former mail route there, they worked up the Pecos, crossing it from time to time as the terrain and watering places required. They drove a second herd, bought from John S. Chisum,qv from his Concho River range to Fort Sumner later that same summer.

The northern extension of the Goodnight-Loving Trail was first blazed by Loving in the fall of 1866. Initially, it ran north from Fort Sumner up the Pecos to Las Vegas, then followed the Santa Fe Trailqv to Raton Pass and around the base of the Rockies via Trinidad and Pueblo to Denver, Colorado. Since that was a roundabout way, Goodnight in the fall of 1867 altered the route fifty or sixty miles to the east, crossing the Gallinas valley and the well-watered plains of northeastern New Mexico near Capulin Mountain before swinging back northwestward to Raton Pass. At Raton Pass "Uncle Dick" Wootton had established a toll station near the summit and charged Goodnight ten cents a head for passage. Goodnight complied, but not without protest. At the head of Apishapa Canyon, forty miles northeast of Trinidad, he set up a ranch and cattle-relay station.

In the spring of 1868 Goodnight entered into a contract with John Wesley Iliff in which he agreed to deliver his cattle to Iliff at the Union Pacific Railroad town of Cheyenne, Wyoming. From the Arkansas valley near Pueblo, Goodnight and his men struck out due north, passing east of Denver, to the South Platte River. They crossed that stream at the site of present Greeley and followed a tributary, Crow Creek, to Cheyenne, where the delivery was made. Afterward, Goodnight and his men went back to New Mexico to buy more cattle from Chisum at Bosque Grande. Returning north, Goodnight further "straightened out" the trail by leaving the Pecos north of Fort Sumner and traveling north to Alamogordo Creek and across the plains via Cuervo Creek and its tributaries to a spot on the Canadian River twenty miles west of Fort Bascom. From there he proceeded to the Cimarron Seco west of Capulin Mountain. In order to avoid Dick Wootton's toll road, Goodnight opened a new, easier passageway through Tinchera Pass into Colorado.

The Goodnight-Loving Trail was thus routed, and although Goodnight himself made only one more delivery at Cheyenne, many cattle concerns from Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado used all or portions of the trail extensively until the advent of railroads in the Southwest in the early 1880s. The trail was sometimes known simply as the Goodnight Trail.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Evetts Haley, Charles Goodnight (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1949). C. Robert Haywood, Trails South: The Wagon-Road Economy in the Dodge City-Panhandle Region (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986). J. Marvin Hunter, Trail Drivers of Texas (2 vols., San Antonio: Jackson Printing, 1920, 1923; 4th ed., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985).

T. C. Richardson

Recommended citation:
"GOODNIGHT-LOVING TRAIL." The Handbook of Texas Online. <http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/GG/ayg2.html> [Accessed Mon Mar 25 18:43:11 US/Central 2002 ].

 

 

The Handbook of Texas Online is a joint project of The General Libraries at the University of Texas at Austin (http://www.lib.utexas.edu) and the Texas State Historical Association (http://www.tsha.utexas.edu).

Copyright ©, The Texas State Historical Association, 1997-2001

Last Updated: July 23, 2001


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 08:08 PM

Did anybody e mail this guy yet?
Yeah, Sorcha, I sent the lyrics to him. But like Kat says, Murray has been around for a long time, maybe as far back as the early months of Mudcat in 1996.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Mark Ross
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 09:22 PM

Actually, Utah wrote the song for a movie about Doc Holliday(DOC starring Stacy Keach, written by Pete Hamill). He always said that it's not a cowboy song, it's a song about getting old and what do you do when the work runs out. He also said that he was very glad they turned down the song for the film(the movie wasn't very good).

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 11:24 PM

Sorcha, I haven't, but Murray has been at the Mudcat since I can remember, so I suspect he'll be back. Great stuff, isn't it?!


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 11:51 PM

To learn more about the people fed by the Goodnight-Loving cattle drives at Ft Sumner, see this about Bosque Redondo.


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 01:47 AM

Thanks for that site Kat and others and thanks Joe for the additional site. I also found it in the DB after realizing it was "Goodnight" instead of "Midnight".

Now if I could only find a recording of it (Peferably by Phillips.)

When I posted this thread I didn't know if it would turn out that the whole song was just a hoax with a hidden meaning that remained hidden to me. But I got a real piece of American History. I will show it to my Aussie friend--I think he will fall off his chair!

Charley, you might have met the Aussie who sings the song, although you wouldn't have heqrd him sing it .He hadn't finished off his version by then. His name is Greg Quinn and he plays the button accordian.

Murray


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 04:32 AM

Utah recorded the song for Philo----EL CAPITAN. It's available on CD from him at:

www.utahphillips.org

And if MARK ROSS says that "Goodnight Loving Trail" was written originally for a film that never got made, I'd believe him. Mark and Utah did a CD together. It's called Loafer's Glory.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Mark Ross
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 12:10 PM

Art, the film got made(it wasn't very good),the song got dumped.

MArk Ross


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 05:53 PM

One of my favorite singers (U-Utah Phillips) one of my favorite songs (Goodnight-Loving Trail) and one of my favorite "movies" (Lonesome Dove) Thanks for the info on the song's recording. I first heard Bruce Phillips at a house "concert" at 885 Clayton Ave (the San Francisco Folk Music Club) and he sang that and another song which is not on his website called "They're Running the Bums Out of Town". Does anyone know where a recorded version of THAT song can be found? I visited BP's website and enjoyed his comments about the wobblies. I didn't know he knew Fred Thompson, I did know he knew Ammon Hennesey. I taught for a brief time in a grade school in the neighborhood where Joe Hill house was located. I was doing it as part of the Artists in the Schools program, back in the 70's. The neighborhood folks (a good sized Latino community) knew about the Joe Hill house and had good things to say about it. The local Catholic parish had something to do with Our Lady of Guadalupe, it was a long time ago and I can't remember much of the details. The program put us into the schools for 6 to 8 weeks, not the whole school year.

CB


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Mark Ross
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 06:11 PM

RUNNING THE BUMS OUT OF TOWN is on the same recording as GOODNIGHT-LOVING TRAIL. The LP was titled EL CAPITAN. It's been released on CD as THE TELLING TAKES ME HOME on PHILO-ROUNDER.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: The midnight loving trail
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 10:11 PM

Tom, It's called "LARRIMER STREET" --- not "They're Runnin' The Bums Out Of Town". Either way, a fine song. Contains the great lines:

I don't know much 'bout what ya call class,
But the upper and middle can both kiss my ass.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips
From: GUEST,John Kidder
Date: 17 May 07 - 07:41 AM

The Goodnight-Loving trail story was fictionalized before Lonesome Dove in "Born Of The Sun", by John H Culp, Publisher: New York, W. Sloane Associates, 1959.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips
From: Amos
Date: 17 May 07 - 09:22 AM

Utah Phillips was still singing this song when he and Kendall Morseperformed side-by-side in Grass Valley, California, in 2006.

A


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips
From: kendall
Date: 17 May 07 - 09:51 AM

Great song, great writer, and the best western type film I ever saw.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 17 May 07 - 09:59 PM

Came as a shock to see Murray in this thread. He was a colleague of mine, had the office across the hall. He had a lot of health problems, which led to his taking early retirement, and, alas, to his early passing, 15 April 2002, just weeks after his post to this thread. There's a bit about him at http://www.maths.mq.edu.au/~street/CoACT.2001.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phil
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 May 07 - 12:55 AM

Gerry, welcome to the Mudcat and thank you for the link. Murray was a favourite of mine, here. You might be interested in reading the Mudcat Obituary thread for him. It was Murray who sent me Pete Duggan's tape of Lawson's poems, still a very favourite of mine.

All the best,

kat/katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Origins:The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips)
From: GUEST,gerry
Date: 20 May 07 - 09:49 PM

kat, thanks so much for the link. I'll pass it on to some of my colleagues who were close to Murray but maybe not aware of his Mudcat activities.


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Subject: RE: Origins:The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 01:16 AM

I got this this by e-mail from somebody who was a bit shy about posting, so I'll leave his name out:
    The description on this song leaves out one irony I suspect the song's author knew: Charles Goodnight isn't simply "an Army officer", he was the inventor of the chuck wagon. (The sources I've seen all say it was actually named after him -- certainly you couldn't just "chuck" things into it as you'd run out of room.) Having somebody soliloquize on the chuck-wagon staff, on the trail also named after its inventor, adds an aspect to the song.
The Amarillo Public Library has some good chuck wagon photos, and says
    The chuckwagon (a cowboy's portable kitchen wagon used on the cattle trails) was invented by Charles Goodnight in 1866. Goodnight, a former Texas Ranger, owned the first cattle ranch in the Texas Panhandle
My link above to the Goodnight-Loving Trail Home Page no longer seems to work, but maybe this Wayback Machine link will. Anybody want to post useful excerpts from the now-dead Website?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins:The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phill
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 02:09 AM

And should you catch songwriter/performer Jay Linden around (his usual haunts are southern Ontario), you might ask him to do the song - he does a superb version of it.


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Subject: RE: Origins:The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 01:00 PM

A brief biography of Charles Goodnight at pbs.org.
http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/people/d_h/goodnight.htm
Goodnight

According to this item, Loving died after an attack by Commanches.

Brief descriptions of the cattle trails across the southwest, including the Goodnight-Loving, at this website:
http://www.over-land.com/trwestsouth.html
Trails West


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Subject: RE: Origins:The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips)
From: Mr Happy
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 10:19 AM

A couple of folk round here sing this one - great song!

However, on checking the DT lyrics just now, I find that the line 'Your French harp blows like the low bawling calf' is sung [or perceived by me] as 'Your French harp blows like a lost moorland cow' - a mondegreen I wonder?


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Subject: RE: Origins:The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 12:10 PM

I played the song when I was sitting around backstage at the Philly Fok Fest in '76, trading licks with Merle Travis (be still my heart). Merle told me that he was Charley Goodnight's grandsons' neighbor.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins:The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 12:18 PM

I'd say it's a "geographical adaptation," Mr. Happy. We don't have "lost moorland cows" out on the prairie in the U.S., that's fer sure.


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Subject: RE: Origins:The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips)
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 12:35 PM

We do, on the other hand, have quite a few hieland coos these days.


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Subject: RE: Origins:The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips)
From: open mike
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 04:39 PM

I am glad the info about Charlie Goodnight and the "chuck wagon" was posted...I was going to add it if not...He found out that cowboys worked better, stayed with the cattle drive with more loyalty and were more healthy and happy if you fed them! these days there are many cook-off contests named after Charlie and his wagon,
http://wildwesthistory.blogspot.com/2012/08/charles-goodnight-and-his-famous.html
http://www.cowboy.org/Visit/Chuck-Wagon-History


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Subject: RE: Origins:The Goodnight-Loving Trail (Utah Phillips)
From: Mark Clark
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 06:17 PM

This thread which has run for more than eleven years now underscores the value of The Mudcat Café for me. There are hundreds of similar threads and the aggregate is perhaps the most complete folk music resource on the planet.

What hath Max, et al., wrought?

      - Mark


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